Frenkie de Jong, a midfielder for Barcelona, recently expressed his desire to remain with the Nou Camp team for up to another ten years, which undoubtedly raised red flags. The playmaker was coveted by many Premier League teams, but they will now need to divert their focus.
With Erik ten Hag eager to reconnect with the Netherlands international at Manchester United, De Jong was at the center of an unrelenting saga throughout the summer. Barcelona gave the move the go-ahead, and both teams were anxious for talks to come to a close.
De Jong, on the other hand, resisted the transfer and dug his heels in. The 25-year-situation old’s was being monitored by Liverpool and Chelsea as well, possibly in an effort to sabotage the transfer late in the window.
De Jong, however, recently stated in The Telegraaf that “I see myself staying in Barcelona for as long as I can. Any expectations going into January will be dashed by the statement, “I myself hope for another 8 or 10 years.” However, to whom might the aforementioned teams look for alternatives? Express Sport looks at…
Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
Jude Bellingham is the most obvious replacement for De Jong, and if he does well in the Qatar World Cup, his price may rise over the next few weeks. Although he is unlikely to leave Borussia Dortmund before the season ends, many elite teams are interested in signing the superstar.
However, teams may try to skip the line and wrest Bellingham from the Signal Iduna Park in January if they expected to sign De Jong soon. Dortmund anticipates that the 19-year-old will fetch over £120 million when they sell him, but he is unquestionably a long-term investment.
Declan Rice (West Ham)
Declan Rice, the captain of West Ham, is another English option to De Jong but has not signed a new contract with the team after months of talks. Over the past few years, the 23-year-old has served as an example for the Hammers and is set to contend for major prizes.
Compared to De Jong, Rice is a more defensive player, but he is versatile and has demonstrated his ability to play in both a double pivot and a midfield three. The 23-year-brilliance old’s will cost a team over £100m, but he would bring leadership and quality to the center of the pitch.
Enzo Fernandez (Benfica)
Before he signed with Benfica over the summer, a number of elite teams were associated with Enzo Fernandez, and they all regret not spending much on the 21-year-old. The Argentine international has advanced in the Portuguese team remarkably swiftly, and teams may opt to attempt and sign him as soon as possible.
Fernandez can be used as a No. 6, No. 8, or No. 10, and his versatility will have Chelsea manager Graham Potter licking his lips. Fernandez has scored one goal and provided three assists in 12 Liga Portugal appearances so far this season.
Moises Caicedo (Brighton and Hove Albion)
United already regrets not being able to complete a deal for Moises Caicedo in 2019, and Brighton now gains as a result. The Ecuadorian international has excelled since being thrust into the Premier League’s spotlight last season, and his performances have won him countless accolades.
The Seagulls have recently sold a number of elite players, so they have no immediate plans to do so with another, even though doing so could net them a hefty sum if a prestigious club approaches them with an appropriate offer. Despite Caicedo’s inexperience, he may have demonstrated enough potential to entice discouraged De Jong chasers into an offer.a